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SMC|Academic Programs|Mathematics|Math 26 - Functions and Modeling for Business and Social Science

Math 26 - Functions and Modeling for Business and Social Science

Course Details


This course is a preparatory course for students anticipating enrollment in Math 28 (Calculus 1 for Business and Social Science). Topics include algebraic, exponential and logarithmic functions and their graphical representations, and using these functions to model applications in business and social science.


Math 20

How It Transfers

UC, CSU IGETC AREA 2 (Mathematical Concepts)


Sullivan & Sullivan, College Algebra. Concepts through Functions, 2nd Ed., Pearson, 2011

Mathematics Skills Associated With This Course


Entry Level Skills


Skills the instructor assumes you know prior to enrollment in this course

  • Perform all of the routine elementary algebraic operations. 
  • Solve linear or quadratic equations/inequalities involving one variable and express the answer in interval notation. 
  • Perform fundamental operations on polynomials and rational expressions. 
  • Solve applications problems involving polynomial or rational expressions.
  • Set up and solve systems of equations in two or three unknowns (with a unique solution) using substitution, elimination, or matrices. 
  • Evaluate simple expressions involving sigma notation.
  • Find domain of functions. 
  • Perform fundamental operations on functions.
  • Graph linear, quadratic, absolute value functions. 
  • Demonstrate the relationship between exponential and logarithmic functions.
  • Solve elementary exponential and logarithmic equations.



Course Objectives

Skills to be learned during this course

  • Construct the function or equation that best models the description of a mathematical or practical situation.
  • Analyze a functional model to determine information relevant to an application.
  • Solve specific problems relating to, but not limited to, compound interest, supply and demand, cost, maximizing revenue and profit, and exponential growth/decay.
  • Solve polynomial, rational, radical, exponential and logarithmic equations.
  • Use interval and set builder notation to state the domain and range of functions. 
  • Use algebraic principles of graphing including translations, reflections, expansions and contractions.
  • Graph polynomial, absolute value, rational, radical, exponential, logarithmic, and piecewise-defined functions without the aid of graphing devices. Graphs must include any intercepts, holes and asymptotes.
  • Solve polynomial and rational inequalities in one variable.
  • Evaluate, manipulate and interpret summation notation using properties of sequences.
  • Use geometric sequences and series and related formulas to solve problems relating to, but not limited to, annuities.
  • Use a scientific calculator to support computations for application problems.
  • Given an algebraic expression with rational exponents, rewrite it in simplest form as a product or quotient in which only positive exponents occur.